Cons: Wear gloves or it will stain you for a while
This is a necessity for anyone's emergency/chicken medical kit. If you have a would that needs healing it helps keep other hens from repeatedly pecking the affected spot. It can be use just for so many things. Get a bottle you won't regret it.
We keep free-range chickens that just go in the coop at night so it's important to us to have a fairly protective rooster. Oreo is a fantastic protector of his ladies and treats them all well. He's fought off the neighbor's cat, a fox, and a hawk so far that we've seen. The downside to that is he sometimes thinks he needs to fight us off too! Somedays he's sweet and will eat out of your hand. The next day you round a corner or get out of the car and he's flapping up at you trying to get you with his spurs. The hens are aggressive with the other girls in our mixed flock too. The leghorns can hold their own but nobody else wants to be near them. They do lie a good sized egg consistently and for our purposes, they work. I probably wouldn't recommend this Roo for a more pet-type boy nor the hens for a mixed flock that is cooped as they may beat up the other girls.
I love my Australorp hens! They're beautiful and so soft. Both are friendly and don't mind attention. One of them likes to crawl into my husband's lap and snuggle regardless of what he's doing or if he's in the mood for chicken love. They get along well with everyone else in our mixed flock. I've never seen them pick on anyone else and nobody really picks on them. They're just the bff to everyone else. Oh, and eggs for days! They consistently lay an egg a day. We've rarely missed one and when we thought they were slowing down, we found a rat snake in the coop so I can't blame that week on the girls
When sailors stopped into the port for fresh supplies of food and water, they were impressed by the local chickens which were smaller than the chickens back home. The word – Bantan – was corrupted into Bantam in general English and so small chickens became known as bantams.
Types of Bantam Chickens
Strictly speaking there are three types of bantam chicken.
There are ‘true’ bantams; these have no large fowl counterpart. They are naturally occurring with no input from mankind. Breeds: Nankin, Sebright and Rosecomb.
Miniaturized bantams – these were ‘made’ from a standard breed of choice such as Rhode Island Red, Cochin or Orpingtons.
Developed bantams – these are small breeds that have been further developed with some help from mankind. They have been around for so long that the origins are sketchy at best. Such breeds are: Belgian, Pekin (Cochin) and Japanese.”
Pros: Good layers, cold hardy, some are broody, good rooster, get along with the rest of the flock
Plymouth Rocks are one of my favorite breeds. I have had Barred and White Rocks and have no complaints. They are not an overly broody breed, but I have had a few loyal broody hens. They are great layers, winter hardy, and get along well with a mixed flock. I had one White Rock rooster who was not aggressive and treated his hens well.
Pros: Good layers, cold hardy, beautiful, friendly to other chickens in the flock
Cons: Aggressive rooster
I love my Buff Orpington hens. They are good layers, have a good personality, and are cold hardy. They are well mannered and get along well with everyone in the flock. However, I did have a rooster that was aggressive and had to re home. He was a beautiful rooster and treated his hens well, but was very aggressive towards humans.
I've noticed a bit of a difference between the buffs and the lights. The buff were great and the only breed I've had rooster of. Wonderful roosters. My light Brahma, though, was leagues above. She had the most gentle and amazing spirit from the get. Her calm, unbelievably chill nature affected the entire flock. She had some health issues and when she had to be separated, the whole flock changed. She got thru some crazy health stuff, to the point where she became known as Morgaine, the wonder chicken. She was the matriarch; when one of the girls had internal laying and got sepsis, after her surgery she slept under Morgaine's wing for at least a month and Morgaine was totally good with it. Even though, she was a 9.5lb bird, 3 lbs bigger than my next largest bird, she wasn't at the top of the pecking order. She was just not into that and did not participate in shenanigans, but she was somewhere toward the top of the middle. In fact, her affect on the flock, was so profound, it kept the shenanigans at such a minimum, it took me 3 years to notice their pecking order....and I spend a LOT of time with my birds. She was just a big fluff ball of love and everyone loved her. She also had a sense of humor and was just funny. Smart too, I taught her to count to 7, scratched my pant leg with her beak, to get a peanut. Best chicken ever....and I've had Faverolles, who were also spectacular birds.
The Bresse hen is a great mother from my experience. The bird taste like any other chicken unless you finish them like the French do, but then any breed would taste like that if you finished any breed the way the French do - surprise! Duh!
Since they are hoarded by the French their bloodline here is poor at best and GFF as the monopoly here in N America isn’t helping matters for this breed. The birds die quickly because they are genetically inferior, which is due to incapable suppliers.
If you want a good Bresse flock, go to Bresse France and get your own fertile eggs from a variety of farmers and fly home, stick them under a good broody hen or throw them in a detestable incubator and cross your fingers. Good luck.
Pros: Holds 2 gallons + water and does not freeze.
Cons: It's heavy and has a flat top - just begging for chickens to perch and poop. Getting the bottom on and flipping over is kind of a trick. I learned how to keep the waterer from coming unlatched and dumping.
I own one of these and it seems like a good idea. I always fill it up, and then it is really heavy to move and tip out daily. We have ours up on blocks, plugged straight into an outlet.
You have to be very careful about tipping it out, or it will come apart. This is no different from the metal waterers which can come undone and the Harris waterers which you have to flip. But we are using it constantly.
Pros: Good egg layer and quite friendly but not as friendly as my RI Reds. As friendly as the Black Australorps.
Cons: Eats quite a bit so not the best food to egg ratio chicken and a lot better than my Orpingtons who just don't want to lay at the same age.
Good bird, mild mannered, somewhat friendly, one likes to be picked up when called to get into coop and run and one stands off and would love to make me chase her so I play it cool and wait for the daylight to diminish which drives her nuts to get into coop with her sisters but still hasn't learned to get inside when called.
Pros: Great egg layer and friendly too. Never fails to come into coop when performing daily cleanup to talk to me and just hang around.
Cons: None that I may think of.
Middle range size among my small flock and is a great egg layer with a personality. Not bossy or easily bullied either. I actually don't have a bully hen. Loves to free range but when they know I'm coming out the door comes running to see if I have a treat for them. A must-have standard chicken. I think this breed is a good food to egg production ratio hen.